Embryo donation and receipt in Australia: views on the meanings of embryos and kinship relations

Clare Bartholomaeus, Damien W. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Research on embryo donation and receipt continues to grow, highlighting how specific national contexts shape views and experiences. The present article reports on a qualitative study on embryo donation and receipt in Australia. Interviews were conducted with 15 participants: embryo donors and those seeking to donate (6), embryo recipients and those seeking donors (3), people with embryos in storage or previously in storage (5), and egg donors where resulting embryos were donated to a third party (1). A deductive thematic analysis identified four key themes: understandings of embryos as cells, potential children, and/or children; a focus on relationships between “siblings”; importance of language and “family words” in discussing relationships; and extended family members having difficulty understanding the concept of embryo donation. The article concludes with a consideration of the implications of the findings in terms of the practice of embryo donation and the policies that surround it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalNew Genetics and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • donor conception
  • embryo donation
  • embryo receipt
  • embryos
  • kinship


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